Disco Pigs

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Disco Pigs
Directed by Kirsten Sheridan
Produced by Ed Guiney
Written by Enda Walsh
Starring Elaine Cassidy
Cillian Murphy
Sarah Gallagher
Charles Bark
Music by Gavin Friday
Maurice Seezer
Cinematography Igor Jadue-Lillo
Peter Robertson
Edited by Ben Yeates
Distributed by Renaissance Films
Release date
  • November 16, 2001 (2001-11-16)
Running time
93 minutes
Country Ireland
Language English

Disco Pigs is a 2001 Irish film directed by Kirsten Sheridan and written by Enda Walsh, who adapted it from his 1996 play of the same name.[1] Cillian Murphy and Elaine Cassidy star as Cork teenagers who have a lifelong, but unhealthy, friendship that is imploding as they approach adulthood.[2]


The film revolves around the intense relationship of the two teenage protagonists, Darren (Cillian Murphy) and Sinéad (Elaine Cassidy), nicknamed "Pig" and "Runt". Pig (Charles Bark) and Runt (Sarah Gallagher) were born at the same hospital at nearly the same time and grow up right next door to each other. This brings about a very close relationship between the two that borders on telepathic. They live in their own world and barely communicate with the world around them. However, up until their seventeenth year, their relationship remains one of friendship, albeit a very intense unhealthy one.

Eventually, however, Runt catches and reciprocates the attentions of another young man, Marky (Darren Healy), from her school just as Pig begins to notice Runt. As their seventeenth birthdays draw closer, Pig's violent nature becomes more and more obvious and his romantic intentions towards Runt become confirmed when he kisses her after a rampage at a disco. Runt, however, does not want to give Pig what he wants of her. She does not know how to reject him; therefore, she continues her friendship, with him feeling awkward and caged.

Pig remains very protective of Runt and finally their closeness raises the concerns of the school they attend. They are separated and Runt is sent away to boarding school. Pig is crushed by this and decides to track down Runt and make her his again. This starts off an irreversible chain of events that will ultimately end in tragedy. Pig finds Runt on their seventeenth birthday and takes her to a club. In a fit of jealous rage, however, Pig kills a boy who was dancing with Runt. The two flee the club and take a taxi to a beach where they make love. In the morning, Pig wordlessly allows Runt to smother him, knowing the punishment awaiting him. She stares out to sea considering suicide but decides against it.


Darren/"Pig" is portrayed by Cillian Murphy, who also originally played the part in the stage version. Runt is the only person Pig knows well. Pig also has an extreme hatred for public displays of affection. He cannot begin to comprehend a world where Runt does not exist. Together, they create a surreal world where there is little division between reality and dreams and Pig's and Runt's two personas. Pig is a strange, volatile dreamer. Charles Bark portrays Young Pig.

Sinéad/"Runt" is portrayed by Elaine Cassidy. She is the calmer of the two characters. When events involving Pig get too wild, Runt steps in quietly. Although the less voiced of the two, she is the more independent. Eileen Walsh played this role on stage. Sarah Gallagher portrays Young Runt.


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